Post Tagged with: "Bobby Harrell"

Bobby Harrell Investigation – Is the Fix In?

July 12, 2014 9:00 PM
Bobby Harrell Investigation – Is the Fix In?

Most of you probably already know that earlier this week the S.C. Supreme Court reversed a circuit court ruling that ordered the grand jury investigation into possible political corruption by S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell ended.

The Supreme Court ruled that Circuit Court Judge Casey Manning erred when he said the case belonged in the S.C. House Ethics Committee unless the committee found evidence of a possible criminal violation at which time it would refer its findings to the Attorney General’s office.

The Court ruled that the existence of the House Ethics Committee “does not affect the Attorney General’s authority to initiate a criminal investigation in any way.”

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Southern Holdings and Public Corruption

July 6, 2014 8:00 AM
Southern Holdings and Public Corruption

Public corruption cases are all the news in South Carolina lately and it’s time for the name Southern Holdings to be as scrutinized as Harrell, Metts or Pinson among others.

The Southern Holdings case stems from actions by the Horry County Sheriff’s Department and Horry County Police Department in June 2000 and August 2000, as well as subsequent events.

Southern Holdings, Inc. and several stockholders of this closely held corporation are plaintiffs in the case. Horry County, Horry County Police Department, Horry County Sheriff’s Department and various individuals are defendants in the case.

Any time you study an issue that evolves from the original Southern Holdings case, you get tangled in a web of lies, deceit and public corruption.

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Bobby Harrell v. Alan Wilson, No Clear Advantage

June 25, 2014 8:30 AM
Bobby Harrell v. Alan Wilson, No Clear Advantage

Neither side seemed to come away with a clear advantage from yesterday’s S.C. Supreme Court arguments to determine whether the state grand jury investigating possible criminal ethics violations by S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell should continue.

Last month, S.C. Circuit Court Judge Casey Manning ruled that a state grand jury investigation into alleged ethics violations by Harrell should be terminated.

S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn Manning’s ruling and allow the investigation to continue, leading to yesterday’s hearing.

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Bobby Harrell v. Alan Wilson at Supreme Court Today

June 24, 2014 6:30 AM
Bobby Harrell v. Alan Wilson at Supreme Court Today

The S.C. Supreme Court will hear arguments beginning at 1:30 p.m. today on the continuing controversy over who has the right to investigate possibly illegal actions by S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell.

The case originally dates from an alleged ethics complaint brought to S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson by the libertarian South Carolina Policy Council. It included allegations that Harrell used his influence as Speaker to obtain a contract for his pharmaceutical supply business and improperly appointed his brother to a judicial candidate screening committee.

(In South Carolina, the legislature appoints a panel that screens judicial applicants and sends recommendations back to the legislature which votes on the recommendations for final approval of the judges. To further complicate the situation, many of the applicants are former legislators.)

The complaint also questioned the use of approximately $324,000 of Harrell’s campaign funds to reimburse himself for costs associated with trips in his personal airplane.

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S.C. Ethics Reform This Year – Maybe, Sort Of

May 25, 2014 8:30 AM
S.C. Ethics Reform This Year – Maybe, Sort Of

It is possible, some say probable, that an ethics reform bill will pass the S.C. General Assembly and be signed into law before sine die June 5th.

But, it really won’t be much of a law.

The key ingredient, an independent ethics commission to investigate allegations of ethics violations against members of the House and Senate, will be missing.

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Supreme Court Rules Bobby Harrell Investigation May Continue

May 22, 2014 4:00 PM
Supreme Court Rules Bobby Harrell Investigation May Continue

The S.C. Supreme Court ruled earlier today that the state grand jury, Attorney General Alan Wilson and SLED may continue with an investigation into possible ethics and criminal violations by S. C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell.

This reverses a ruling made after a May 12th hearing in District Court, by Judge Casey Manning, which ordered the investigation halted and the grand jury disbanded.

In his ruling, Manning stated that the S.C. House Ethics Committee has exclusive jurisdiction over investigation of ethics violations by Harrell or other members of the House and only the Ethics Committee can refer an investigation to the AG or grand jury.

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Bobby Harrell vs. Alan Wilson – An Uneven Fight?

April 24, 2014 11:25 AM
Bobby Harrell vs. Alan Wilson – An Uneven Fight?

The ongoing legal challenge over whether S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson can use the State Grand Jury to investigate ethics violation allegations against S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell will go a long way to answering the question of whether Harrell is the most powerful individual in the state.

Attorneys representing Harrell challenged Wilson’s right to investigate Harrell during a March 21, 2014 hearing before S.C. Circuit Court Judge Casey Manning.

Should Manning rule in Harrell’s favor, he will effectively establish in law what has been long established in fact, namely, S.C. legislators are above the law.

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Bobby Harrell “Blindsided”

January 15, 2014 9:30 PM
Bobby Harrell “Blindsided”

SC House Speaker Bobby Harrell held a press conference yesterday in Columbia in what appeared to be an attempt to regain control of the message on the ongoing ethics investigation into his use of campaign funds.

Speaking approximately one hour before the House was gaveled into its opening 2014 session, Harrell appeared to believe he could, somehow, stop the ethics investigation against him from going to the Grand Jury.

Harrell said he was “shocked and blindsided” by the news the investigation was being referred to the Grand Jury. He said both the attorney general’s office and SLED continuously told Harrell and his attorneys that they found, in the course of the investigation, “nothing that concerned them”.

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Bobby Harrell Ethics Case Going to Grand Jury

January 13, 2014 9:00 PM
Bobby Harrell Ethics Case Going to Grand Jury

SC Attorney General Alan Wilson announced that he is referring the ethics case against SC Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell to the State Grand Jury.

The case includes investigation of the approximately $325,000 Harrell reimbursed to himself from campaign funds with only general records of the expenses, according to a series by Renee Dudley, then of the Charleston Post and Courier.

According to Dudley’s stories, Harrell failed to meet the requirements of state law section 8-13-1302, which enumerates requirements for maintenance of expenditure records from campaign contributions.

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Transparency and Reform Dead on Vine

March 30, 2013 9:00 AM
Transparency and Reform Dead on Vine

Ethics reform and government transparency sounded great on the campaign trails last fall, but the reality in Columbia is another year will pass without any meaningful changes taking place in state government.

The S.C. General Assembly is up to its old tricks of exempting itself from the laws that govern all other elected officials in the state.

Two bills that may have added real oversight over state legislators appear to be dead on the vine. One would have gotten rid of the House and Senate ethics committees and put legislators under the same ethics commission that oversees all other public officials in the state.

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